Storage 101 for Solar Installers

GTM Research estimates that the U.S. energy storage market could be a $2 billion market by 2020. Many states are examining or radically changing their net metering and energy policies, and smart installers are thinking about adding storage offerings to their portfolios. What’s missing is the roadmap to get there. Enphase has put together an easy-to-read guide that takes a look at the eight questions residential installers should be asking themselves in order to help their customers prepare to add energy storage to their PV and meet the growing demand for fully integrated energy management solutions.

Solar Power Plant Reliability – Why Should We Care?

Solar is following wind power by a few years in its meteoric path to volume, and has the opportunity to avoid the difficult early stage lessons that wind and nuclear industries had to experience the hard way. The methods and roadmap to reduce long term power plant risk is clear: test new technologies before deploying in volume, establish consistent industry standards for structural design, and utilize well established technical predictive tools to evaluate and account for long term maintenance costs. Failed companies and impaired project assets which act as a brake on industry growth can be easily prevented.

System Design Using Sungrow String Inverters

String inverters are becoming the most common style of inverter used with PV power systems ranging from 500kW to 20MW.  The goal of good system designers is to construct systems that maximize overall performance, while keeping the inverters operating within their design limits.  This paper is a very clear and easy explanation of the best ways to select string sizes as well as the optimum DC to AC ratios for the Sungrow string inverters.  Understanding the relationship between the string voltage, MPPT operations within the inverter, and how to take advantage of the 110% “overload” capacity will help maximize both system performance and the return on investment for systems that properly employ Sungrow string inverters.

Utility Security: Exceeding Mandates to Mitigate Risk

Security is more than just a regulatory-driven necessity for utilities; it has become a business imperative. Most utilities can no longer do business effectively or efficiently without internet of things (IoT) technology; and recent events in the Ukraine have shown that large-scale attacks against power grids can succeed. Beginning July 1, 2016, utilities must comply with NERC’s Critical Infrastructure Protection standard, v6, which features an expanded scope and emphasis on security, compared to previous NERC CIP regimes. Most U.S. utilities already enjoy a relatively high level of awareness and sophistication about cybersecurity, compared to other industries — but there are some common weak spots. To respond effectively to ever-shifting cyber threats and vulnerabilities, utilities must adopt a risk-based security approach that exceeds regulatory requirements. This paper recommends an integrated utility security program that encompasses physical and digital security technology, staffing and training, leadership support, cross-departmental collaboration and cross-sector coordination.

Mercatus Global Advanced Energy Insights Report: Vol. IV

While the growing pains of a rapidly transforming industry are becoming more prominent, the trend towards growth in advanced energy is becoming increasingly clear. Major energy companies are now evaluating the most effective strategies to navigate this changing landscape, but the path is uncertain. To guide energy producers along the way, Mercatus has designed the Advanced Energy Insights Report, providing key insights into conditions and trends that are emerging in the advanced energy power generation market.

The report highlights:

  • Outlooks and forecasts into new power generation capacity
  • The surge of global investment into emerging markets
  • Market forces driving diversification across power generation technologies
  • Key trends and developments in the US Market

In addition, Mercatus outlines best practices and strategies for a transitioning energy market, so that power producers can realign their strategies to keep up with the advancing energy future. Download the report to learn more.

PV Module Reliability Scorecard Report 2016

DNV GL (formerly PV Evolution Labs), a global firm that delivers world-renowned testing, certification and advisory services to the entire energy value chain, is proud to present the 2016 PV Module Reliability Scorecard which provides unparalleled technical comparisons of PV module reliability. With full-life field data more than twenty years away and without access to publicly available data comparing long-term module reliability by vendor, how can buyers and investors factor quality into their procurement discussions?

Over the past few years independent lab data has established a critical role in evaluating PV module quality and long term reliability. DNV GL’s PV module testing lab, founded in 2010, was the first lab to offer PV equipment testing services focused at the downstream market (banks, developers, IPPs, etc.). The PVEL-GTM PV Module Reliability Scorecard aims to address the lack of publicly available long-term PV module data. The evaluation includes environmental testing that goes beyond traditional module certification testing. With its supplier-specific performance analysis, the Scorecard can help investors and developers generate quality-backed procurement strategies to ensure long-term project viability.

Integrating High Levels of Renewables into Microgrids:  Opportunities, Challenges and Strategies

Overall North American microgrid capacity is expected to more than double in the next five years. At the same time, microgrid applications are becoming more diverse, reflecting the needs of a growing number of owners and operators. Reliability, resiliency, fuel cost issues and renewables integration are some of the issues driving microgrid proliferation. But in this developing market, substantial technical and economic issues remain. Addressing them is essential for any would-be microgrid developer. ABB explores the trends and implications.

Whether enhancing reliability and resilience, facilitating the integration of renewable energy sources, or establishing electricity service where there was none before, microgrids are poised to play a major role going forward. This paper explores the trends and technical implications.

Executive Summary: Global PV Monitoring 2016-2020

Solar PV monitoring software allows stakeholders to track the output of a solar PV system, assess its performance, detect system issues and report on these topics. GTM Research and SoliChamba Consulting have partnered to release the 2016 edition of the solar industry’s only comprehensive analysis on global PV monitoring markets, technologies and vendors.

This executive summary provides a glimpse of the market segmentation, vendor landsape and forecast for the 242 GW global PV monitoring market.

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